"Wonder By Wonder" by Leo Rydell Jost

Wonder by Wonder (Engl/Ger)

(with Interview)

A solo exhibition by Leo Rydell Jost at P7 Gallery

The title of the exhibition, “Wonder by Wonder” was inspired by the Academy Award winning song “A Whole New World” from the Disney animation “Aladdin”:

“I can open your eyes

Take you wonder by wonder 

Over sideways and under

On a magic carpet ride”

What is it that Aladdin wants us to know? Conquering the night skies on the flying carpet in a state of forbidden love inebriation with his Jasmine, he might be referencing to the various wonders of the world, to the intriguing and wondrous places that are to be discovered together, and solely together.

Handcrafted Nepal, the works of Rydell Jost leave a lot of room for interpretation. Their even and smooth surface create an inviting atmosphere, you want to take a seat and feel them, touch them, to be able to maybe grasp them better. Aladdin seems to have been able to only dream about such exceptionally formed carpets, since the works of Rydell Jost renounce any classic form.

They spread like a spectacle of nature made of topographical maps and go far beyond their scope and ground. They are extraordinary design artefacts that carry the spectator to strange worlds. Or is it the world of Rydell Jost, that are manifesting itself to us? Naked younglings that indulge in their lust or their strong bodies, bursting with youth and are flashed between the abstract carpet mesh let us surmise how much the artist himself wants to get entangled in his work and leaving behind the ground “on a magic carpet ride.”

The artist gained attention for the first time through his book Colored Dudes, that was published in 2014 which is showing homoerotic fantasies in fine lines and discreet colours. The sexually loaded paintings that are shown seem never gross or rough, despite their clear motives. On the contrary, they possess grace and elegance and show the masculine sexuality in a new, gentle way.

Rydell Jost works some of his paintings into carpets, too. The ensemble of wool and the motives of Rydell Jost combine into a perfect synergy. He succeeds with ease to bring sex and erotic into our living rooms, without getting intrusive.

With the series Rugs for Opra from the year 2018, the artist strikes out a new direction regarding his art of weaving. The explicit motives make way for more abstract forms changing into wild colours that leave us in awe and turn our renown picture of carpet and wool upside down. Camouflage like coloured patterns don’t let the eye linger and agitate us, whereas the soft wool leaves a calming and inviting impression.

Have a look yourself on the freshness and uniqueness of the works of Rydell Jost!

What are you reading at the moment ?

LEO: “Second Fundation” by Isaac Asimov, I am a sucker for Sci-Fi!

The title "Wonder by Wonder" is inspired by the Academy Award winning song “A Whole New World” from the Disney animation “Aladdin”. Who is your favorite disney character or who can you relate the best with ? 

LEO: Jacchus, the unicorn donkey from Fantasia, best breeding ever! But I relate more to Pocahontas because of my natural sexiness and poorish decision making.

If you could exhibit wherever you want, where would that be ? 

LEO: Wouldn’t mind the Louisiana in Copenhagen...

Where did you get the abstract forms for your rugs serie ? 

LEO: Its a mix between botanical scenes inspired from Oprah’s harvests, topography and spirited human scenes. The odder the combo the better.

Do you have your own rugs at home ? 

LEO: The first rug I ever made is right at the entrance, so that when you enter and see the sensual imagery of it you get an idea of where you are stepping into.

What was the best respond you got for your rugs artwork ?

LEO: “I want three: this one, this one and this one"

What was the worst respond you got for your rugs artwork ? 

LEO: “I could do that too”

You live in madrid, whats the best and worst about this city ? 

LEO: Best would be the casualness of it, its easy going and not pretentious at all. Worst would be the air quality, although its improving!

What are you working on at the moment ? 

LEO: The platform for all my artworks are homeware objects, so continuing in that line i am working on tableware and mirrors. Exploring sculpture for the first time and for it to be created in limited series instead of unique pieces.

Artist's bio:

Raised in the South of Spain by British-Swedish parents in the late nineties, Leo was surrounded by nature and a great sense of freedom growing up. He later studied Fashion and Creative Direction in Madrid, when he also started his art career.

The beginning of his trajectory began when self publishing Colored Dudes, which featured homoerotic illustrations created in late 2014, the book sold out worldwide almost immediately. Shortly after Leo placed finalist in the Dual Figure category of the Tom of Finland Foundation Emerging Artist Competition. In order to enrich his knowledge in development processes and luxurious materials, Rydell worked for a little more than two years at LVMH-Loewe’s design team.

His art work balances between a visual approach and pleasurable home living. He applies to his work with a double use, going beyond to merely aesthetic objects to functional art.

The theme behind most of his work lies between portraits and nudes. Often it also shifts from still lifes to studies of nature.

His colorful work remarks the importance of avoiding boring tones. “I find the amount of grey, brown and beige that goes into what’s supposed to be elegant home decor is pretty boring. Sexy joyful fun is always the concept in my mind when composing colorful new pieces”.

In 2017 his tapestry rug Rose Dipped was featured in the group exhibition Pink, curated by Luis Venegas at Colette in Paris, which also featured pieces from Nan Goldin, Inez and Vinoodh, Juergen Teller, among many others. Earlier in 2016 several commissioned artworks were included in the J.W.Anderson book The Rain In Spain Stays Mainly In The Plain.

Eine Ausstellung von Leo Rydell Jost in der P7 GALLERY.

Der Titel „Wonder by Wonder“ wurde inspiriert vom Oscar prämierten Lied „A Whole New World“ aus dem Disney Film „Aladdin“ : 

„I can open your eyes“

Take you wonder by wonder 

Over sideways and under

On a magic carpet ride”

Was will uns Aladdin wohl damit sagen ? Im verbotenen Liebesrausch mit seiner Jasmin zusammen auf dem fliegenden Teppich den Nachthimmel erobernd bezieht er sich vielleicht auf die unterschiedlichen Wunder der Welt, auf die interessanten und wunderlichen Orte ,die es gemeinsam und auch nur gemeinsam zu entdecken gilt. 

In Handarbeit in Nepal gefertigt, lassen die Werke von Rydell Jost viel Raum für Interpretation. Ihre ebene und weiche Oberfläche wirkt einladend, man möchte sich niederlassen und sie fühlen, sie berühren, um sie vielleicht besser zu begreifen. Aladdin konnte wohl von solch außergewöhnlich geformten Teppichen nur träumen, denn Rydell Josts Arbeiten entsagen jeglicher klassischen Form. 

Wie ein Naturschauspiel von topographische Landkarten strecken sie sich aus und sprengen den Rahmen und Boden. Es sind ungewöhnliche Designobjekte ,die den Betrachter in fremde Welten entführen. Oder ist es die Welt von Rydell Jost, die sich uns hier offenbart? Nackte Jünglinge ,die sich ihrer Lust hingeben oder ihre kräftigen ,vor Jugend strotzenden Körper, die da und dort  zwischen den abstrakten Teppichgeflechten durchblitzen, lassen vielleicht erahnen, wie sehr sich ihr Schöpfer wohl selber gerne in seinen Arbeiten verfängt und den Boden hinter sich zurück lässt „On a magic carpet ride“.

Zum ersten Mal auf sich aufmerksam machte der Künstler durch sein 2014 erschienenes Buch Colored Dudes, welches homoerotische Fantasien in feinen Strichen und dezenten Farben zeigt. Die dargestellten sexuell aufgeladenen Bilder wirken trotz ihrer eindeutigen Motive nie grob oder roh. Im Gegenteil, sie besitzen Anmut und Grazie und zeigen die maskuline Sexualität auf neue, einfühlsame Weise. 

Einige seiner Bilder verarbeitete Rydell Jost auch zu Teppichen. Das Zusammenspiel der Wolle und Rydell Josts Motiven, wird zu einer perfekten Synergie. Mit einer Leichtigkeit gelingt es ihm, Sex und Erotik direkt in unsere Wohnzimmer zu bringen ohne aufdringlich zu sein.

Mit der Serie Rugs for Opra von 2018 geht der Künstler nun neue Wege mit seiner Webkunst. Die eindeutigen Motive weichen abstrakteren Formen in wilden Farben, welche uns staunen lassen und unser altbekanntes Bild von Teppich und Wolle auf den Kopf stellen. Tarnfarbenartige Muster lassen das Auge nicht verweilen und wühlen uns auf, während die weiche Wolle beruhigend und einladend wirkt. 

Überzeugen Sie sich selbst von der Frische und Einzigartigkeit von Rydell Josts Arbeiten.